Three leading businesses have been given the lucrative naming rights to one of Liverpool’s most popular annual events.
Plans for the 2017 Mersey River Festival are well underway, and following a lottery-style draw involving dozens of local businesses which are part of the Mayoral 100 Club – a business networking scheme which sees each organisation pay £3,000 to become a member which is then invested in to the development of the festival – the three official sponsors have been revealed.
The maritime event takes place across the waterfront on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June and this year retail and leisure giant Liverpool ONE has scooped top prize and secured the overall naming rights. This means it will be officially called the Mersey River Festival in partnership with Liverpool ONE.
Chris Bliss, Estate Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “We are delighted to be named as this year’s headline sponsor.
“The Mersey River Festival has established itself as a much loved annual occasion which celebrates Liverpool’s cultural heritage. We are proud to be a part of this and look forward to showcasing everything which our vibrant city has to offer.
“Collaborating with partners across the city is something which is really important to us at Liverpool ONE and this partnership marks a further great opportunity for our magnificent city to confirm its place on both the national and international stage.”
Heritage Great Britain which owns and operates some of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions and represents outstanding landmarks, together with Liverpool’s Mattel Play! and last Christmas’ Dreamworks Lights destinations, has been named as the official sponsor of the music zone.
Allan Leech, CEO of Heritage Great Britain PLC said: “We are proud of our roots as a Liverpool based company with a portfolio literally stretching from John O’Groats to Land’s End. We welcome more than 2.5 million people every year to our attractions including Snowdon Mountain Railway and The Needles on the Isle of Wight and many more and hence we recognize the importance of such large scale events to the visitor economy.
“We also work with global brands and are proud to bring many of these to the city, which is helped again by our membership of the Mayor’s 100 Club, as it continues to promote itself to national and international markets.
“The Mersey River Festival is a fantastic event and we are thrilled to be supporting the musical element of the event and look forward to the line-up being revealed.”
One of Merseyside’s largest employers Home Bargains, became the sponsor for the family zone which will see family entertainment such as street theatre, face painting and craft workshops taking place across the festival site.
Ines Dearman, Engagement Management for the organisation said: “Home Bargains are delighted to be the Family Zone sponsor this year. We hope to see lots of children enjoying the River festival activities and entertainment.”
The programme for the maritime extravaganza is still being finalised but will see a number of Tall Ships sail in to the city which will join several military vessels and research ships.
Thanks to its inaugural success last year, The British ThunderCat Racing Tour will make a welcome return and will see boats battling it out on the Mersey reaching speeds of up to 65mph. Audiences can also expect the usual incredible jet skiing, fly boarding, canoe polo and wakeboarding displays along with some dry land exhibitions or unarmed combat and weapons displays and the Sea Cadets will be performing their field gun window ladder semaphore and club swinging activities.
The Northern Boat Show will also return for its third year, running from Friday 23 until Sunday 25 June. It covers all aspects of the leisure marine industry and there will be displays of power boats, cruisers, narrow boats, and sail boats and features some of the biggest brands in the marine world such as Bavaria, Beneteau and Dufour Yachts.
There will also be an exciting music soundtrack to the weekend, taking place on stages located across the waterfront.
Full details of the programme will be released in April.
Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The Mersey River Festival is a much-loved part of our events calendar and draws in huge crowds each year.
“It’s wonderful that we can work in partnership with Merseyside-based businesses to contribute and grow the event, and I’m delighted that once again, three more companies will have the kudos of being associated with this fantastic event.
“This year’s festival coincides with Liverpool being the national focus for Armed Forces Day, so there will be a unique dynamic to 2017’s River Festival as the city comes together to say thank you to all those servicemen and women who make up the armed forces community.
The companies who received the naming rights in 2016 were Kier Group, Wilmott Dixon and A&B Engineering.